Mother joins charity run to thank medics who saved baby girl

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A mother whose baby required major surgery when she was just days old hopes to boost funds for charity in The Great North Run.

Sara Greenwood, from Bingley, is taking part in the run to raise money for Heart Research UK.

Her daughter, Lauren, collapsed and was put onto life support just six days after she was born last October. Four days later the infant endured a 17-hour operation and was later moved to high dependency for a further five weeks at Leeds General Infirmary.

Mrs Greenwood, 30, said: “She has regular heart scans and may need more surgery in the future. I wanted to raise money so more work can be done in educating people about heart conditions and also further advancing the surgical procedures.

“My husband and I have done several fund-raising events since having our daughter to raise money for charities who helped us through a very tough time. But doing the Great North Run specifically for Heart Research UK is a massive motivator for me and I am bound to find the race quite emotional as well as a great experience.”

Barbara Harpham, national director of Leeds-based Heart Research UK, said: “We wish Sara and her husband the best of luck, and we are very pleased that Lauren is doing great and is on the way to recovery. The Great North Run is a brilliant way for people to support us.

“We would like to wish all runners the best of luck – completing a half-marathon is an achievement to be very proud of and at the same time they are helping us to raise funds for pioneering research into the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease, a cause we know is of great personal significance to our supporters.”

Heart Research UK was founded in 1967 by Leeds heart surgeon David Watson who realised that patients were dying unnecessarily because of the lack of research into heart disease, especially surgical techniques.

The charity funded six of the first eight successful UK heart transplants and now funds ground-breaking medical research.